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Storm drains and pollution problems
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Karen Bell is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.

Keep Liberty Beautiful had so much fun participating in The Big Easter Roll at Bryant Commons this past weekend.   

Thank you to the staff at HDDA for putting on a safe and fantastic event.  During the event, some of us had the opportunity to walk around the beautiful Bryant Commons grounds, and someone noticed some debris in the ponds.  They wonder why people who come here would throw their trash in the water.  I explained that it might not have come from the people visiting the park but from the storm drains, which is called nonpoint source pollution.  

When litter and debris go into the storm drains, it has to come out somewhere.  Unfortunately, the Bryant Commons Pond in Hinesville gets some waste and debris flowing in the pond from city storm drains.  The pond catches the cigarette butts, cups, bottles, cans, fast food trash, and other nasty litter that citizens toss on our sidewalks, streets, and ultimately traveling down city storm drains.  All of these items are part of a problem called nonpoint source pollution.

Sadly, the most significant danger to our local waterways is these “nonpoint sources” (NPS), which is challenging to control.  What are nonpoint sources of pollution?  Nonpoint pollution develops mainly in our own homes, backyards, roads, businesses, and even our farms.  You see a lot in more heavily populated areas.  NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or irrigation moving over and through the ground.  This past weekend we got a lot of rain and heavy winds that pushed litter around.   As the water runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants.  The rain finally moves the waste into creeks, lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground drinking water sources.  It is often referred to as Stormwater pollution because those slight downpours of rain wash the pollution and debris into our groundwater and waterways.  

These pollutants include:

* Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production

*Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding stream banks

* Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines

* Bacteria and nutrients from animals, pet wastes, and faulty septic systems and, of course, litter.

According to the EPA, nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems.  Nonpoint pollution is known to have harmful effects on drinking water, wildlife, and, as we are now learning, our sport and seafood fisheries.  As urbanization continues, the impact of nonpoint pollution only worsens.  We have to take action to change many of our damaging daily habits and look for proactive ways to keep our waterways clean to create a positive change.

There are plenty of ways to create positive change and make a difference in our community.  You can join us every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month at the KLB office for volunteer opportunities from 10:00am to 1:00pm.  You can sign up from our Facebook page or on 

Great American Cleanup has started, and we have a countywide cleanup scheduled for April 17, 2021.  Each city in Liberty County will have a cleanup that will be from 9:00am to 12:00pm.  KLB provides all the cleanup supplies (garbage bags, safety vests, work gloves, and even litter reachers), water for these cleanups.  We also offer official Great American Cleanup t-shirts for all registered volunteers.  

To register, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at (912) 880-4888 or and check out our information on    We can all find a way to make our community a healthier, safer, and brighter place to live.

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